Manchester United are at risk of dropping into the bottom half of the table and José Mourinho will be counting on Romelu Lukaku against his former employers. The misfiring Belgian has blanked in his last 8-games domestically, and with a growing injury list, Mourinho is left with little option but to keep faith in his stuttering stars.
Local rivals City will feel they need to win at Wembley to maintain their position at the top of the pile with Liverpool seemingly a shoo-in to take three-points against Cardiff. Pep Guardiola made four changes in Shakhtar on Tuesday, but with six days recovery and close to a fully fit squad, fatigue will not influence team selection.
Arsenal will be hoping to make it 12 wins in a row following a late winner in Lisbon, and with several players closing in on a return, Unai Emery has some important decisions to make. But, as with Chelsea, both managers are likely to leave those big calls until after the final training session on Saturday.
Brighton and Hove Albion – vs – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Davy Propper [ankle] is once again missing along with team-mate Pascal Gross who many expected to return this weekend. Chris Hughton confirmed the attacking midfielder was making progress earlier this month, but it looks as though he may have suffered a minor setback. “We'll make a decision on Glenn Murray,” who has gone through the correct concussion protocol since being stretchered off and taken to hospital last weekend. Bruno Saltor is fine after shaking off a minor back issue.
Wolves travel to Brighton following a disappointing home defeat to Watford which could prompt Nuno Espírito Santo into making his first change(s) of the season. “It is over. We analyse, work on it and move to the next game,” he said. "It was not a good game; many factors can be spoken but we analyse internally and go for the next one.” The visitors can boast a clean bill of health.
Fulham – vs – AFC Bournemouth
Slavisa Jokanovic confirms that Joe Bryan is the only absentee ahead of their game with Bournemouth. The Fulham boss revealed that the left-back is taking much longer than initially anticipated to recover from a hamstring strain. Bryan limped off at Goodison Park [GW7] and it was hoped that he could return within a "few weeks," but Jokanovic admits. "He is not ready to work with us," and there is currently no timeline on his comeback. However, after two months, Tom Cairney does return, although his involvement is likely to come from the bench. "He made a few training sessions before the Everton game [September 29] and now he needs little bit time to reach his best level." Despite not being 100 per cent, Timothy Fosu-Mensah [dislocated shoulder] could come into the reckoning to sure-up the Lilywhites leaking defence which shipped four at Cardiff last time out. Calum Chambers, who was culpable for more than one of those goals, can look to make amends for his horror show after shaking off an ankle injury.
No fresh injury concerns for the Cherries. "We’re in a pretty good position," said Eddie Howe. "A couple of players have picked up little knocks but they should be okay.” Joshua King is managing a minor ankle issue, although that won’t stop him from facing Fulham.
Liverpool – vs – Cardiff City
Hamstring injuries will keep Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson out of Saturdays game. But, other than long-term absentee - Alex Oxlade Chamberlain - the rest of the first-team squad should be available for Jurgen Klopp. Sadio Mane returned in the Champions League midweek.
Harry Arter and Josh Murphy picked up knocks during the win over Fulham and the pair are considered doubts for the trip to Anfield. Neil Warnock admitted. “We’re definitely going to have to make one change,” but the Bluebirds boss did not reveal any further details. Gary Madine should be available after recovering from illness. However, Joe Ralls [knee], Lee Peltier [shoulder], Danny Ward and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing [knee] are ruled out through injury. Aron Gunnarsson isn't fully match fit following a lengthy spell on the side-lines, but he will start on Saturday. "We don’t expect him to be finishing a game [but] if he can give us another 65 to 70 minutes, I’d be delighted."
Southampton – vs – Newcastle United
Mark Hughes confirms Mario Lemina is in contention to face Newcastle after overcoming a minor problem with his left knee. "We're okay, he came off against Bournemouth and was sore early in the week. But we're pleased as it doesn't look like he's sustained any significant damage," said the Southampton boss. "It was jarring of the knee and a bit of hyper-extension. But it looks like he'll be fit as long as he doesn't have any reaction to the work we've done." Other than that, the Saints expect to have everyone else available.
Ciaran Clark comes back into contention having picked up a thigh injury during the international break. Only Cardiff have scored fewer goals away from home and the timely return of Salomon Rondon could be the boost Benitez is looking for. Jamie Sterry and Florian Lejeune are the only players currently side-lined as they continue to work towards full fitness.
Watford – vs – Huddersfield Town
Sebastian Prödl is out due to the leg injury he suffered after coming on as a substitute last weekend. The defender was replaced after only 13 minutes and looks set for another spell on the side-lines. Troy Deeney [hamstring] and Nathaniel Chalobah [knee] have trained away from the main group, but Javi Gracia will give the pair every chance to prove themselves. Christian Kabasele and Jose Holebas are expected to return to the matchday squad after missing the win at Wolves through suspension. “We have Daryl Janmaat, Tom Cleverley and Sebastian Prödl out of the squad.”
Danny Williams [knee] is the only player "sure" to miss out on Saturday after David Wagner confirmed Tommy Smith and Terence Kongolo are back training with the group. "They are ready to be in contention for the Fulham game." Rajiv Van la Parra was ill on Thursday and will be checked but Collin Quaner has overcome his virus. Ramadan Sobhi is fit. "He has been in training for two weeks. He was close for the Liverpool match, but I thought it was best to give him the second week. He is ready and back in contention."
Leicester City – vs – West Ham United
Wes Morgan serves the final game of his ban while Matty James remains out. Demarai Gray has recovered from an ankle injury and stands a chance of making the game after missing the three previous matches. "I hope he can be in the squad on Saturday." Jamie Vardy hasn't been well but trained with the squad on Thursday. "He has a stomach problem. We will see if he can start this game."
"Unfortunately, we have a lot of long injuries," revealed Manuel Pellegrini on Thursday. Andriy Yarmolenko had surgery on his ruptured Achilles this week and may miss the rest of the season. His absence could open the door for Grady Diangana. "On Saturday we will see. I think he's a young player with a lot of good technical conditions. He needs to improve on other things, but he has a chance." Andy Carroll is being integrated back into first-training. "He is improving. I hope he might play after the international break." Jack Wilshere [ankle surgery] is recovering following a minor setback and Pedro Obiang is unavailable due to a "small" calf strain. "It's not serious but he needs some days to recover. He will be ready for the Carabao Cup game." Carlos Sánchez, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini are still out.
Burnley – vs – Chelsea
Robbie Brady comes into contention for the visit of Chelsea almost 11 months after his last competitive appearance. Aaron Lennon is currently down with a bug and faces a late fitness test. Centre-back Ben Gibson will play another behind-closed-doors game next week before being considered for a first-team return.
Despite going into the game against Manchester United [GW9] with a niggling back issue, Eden Hazard managed 90 minutes, although he looks to have exacerbated the problem. Maurizio Sarri admits he is trying to resolve the situation, but “it is not very easy” and the Belgium star has not trained with the group all week.
Crystal Palace – vs – Arsenal
No fresh concerns for Palace according to Roy Hodgson. "The only injuries we have are the ones we've had for a while.” Jonny Williams should train [on Saturday] while Pape Souaré is working his way back to full fitness. Scott Dann will play for the under-23s before stepping back into the senior squad. Christian Benteke is ruled out until 2019 but Connor Wickham is not yet ready to fill the void after missing close to two years through injury. Max Meyer and Alexander Sørloth will be considered, however, Joel Ward has a muscular strain.
Unai Emery must decide on Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac after the final session on Saturday. The pair have missed the last two games after suffering hamstring injuries on the eve of the Leicester clash. Petr Cech is back with the group and will compete with Leno for the number one jersey.
Manchester United – vs – Everton
United have seven players currently side-lined and the squad is becoming a little stretched. "At the moment, we are not in the best situation to think about resting players. The solution now is to play with the players we have,” bemoaned José Mourinho on Friday. Jesse Lingard [groin] "could" play after recovering from a groin injury. "He came from the World Cup with that problem. Can he help us in the next match? That's the question we have to answer tomorrow. Or if we wait and give one more week of stability to the work. So, he's almost there." Scott McTominay [knee] is another player closing in on a return and maybe considered. Diogo Dalot and Marouane Fellaini are ruled out while Mourinho admits Alexis Sánchez is "struggling" because he's injured. "He come to Chelsea to help the team. But, his physical condition was not good and then he had to stop. He was not available for Juventus and he is not available for tomorrow again."
Marco Silva confirms Everton have no injury worries ahead of Sunday. Yerry Mina was an unused substitute last time out and is likely to sit on the bench once again. André Gomes and Seamus Coleman came through the win over Palace unscathed following their return and James McCarthy is training normally, although he lacks match fitness.
Tottenham Hotspur – vs – Manchester City
Dele Alli [hamstring] has returned to full training, but Mauricio Pochettino remains coy on his return. "He started today with the group. Sure, we hope he will be available for Monday, but I'm not sure if we're going to put him in the squad or not." Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose are progressing with their rehab, but neither player will feature against City.
Pep is struggling to pick his starting XI with most of his squad fit and available. "All the players want to play good, play well and be part of the team," Guardiola said. "We have a squad with huge quality and when they play, they play good, because if it doesn't happen another one can play.” Sergio Agüero is poised for a recall after being rested in the Champions League, but Ilkay Gundogan [hamstring] and Danilo [ankle] are out.